episode #135 - The Long Morrow

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episode #135 - The Long Morrow

Post  BoG on Tue Mar 18, 2014 12:51 am

Air Date: 1/10/64  Arrow  written by Rod Serling  Arrow   Directed by Robert Florey

The plot, minimal as it is, concerns a future astronaut (Robert Lansing) in year 1987 who has been selected to make the first long journey to a star system 140 light years away. This will be a 40-year trip and he will have to make it alone (the reasons for such details are not explained).  One caveat: a new process had been developed which will allow the astronaut to sleep and not age - a form of suspended animation - so he will not have to actually live out those 40 years all alone on a ship. The astronaut looks forward to this mission; it's hinted that he is particularly well-suited for this type of endeavor because he has no ties on Earth and has always been a loner. Then, the TZ twist: he suddenly meets a technician (Mariette Hartley) and falls in love. He takes the space trip anyway and it all ends on a tragic, depressing note.
The main fault of this episode are the two main actors; they are unable to convey any strong emotion in their brief relationship. They come across as these two cold people - almost robotic with their dialog and speechifying - and it's very hard to muster any sympathy for them. Serling's script doesn't help - it's overwritten as far as the dialog but also scrimps on the details of this momentous mission into space - the story makes it seem that the astronaut's ship will reach its destination and go right back to Earth, with no purpose to the mission except to show it can be done.  Likewise, the astronaut is shown to be sleeping in the ship, as planned; so how did he wake up and turn off the key machines to facilitate this tragic turn in the plot? Serling's story is like this dark stageplay which is hard to relate to.  BoG's Score: 6 out of 10
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